Interesting news on the new “canonical tag” for Search engines. The short reason this is important is that it’s a new tool to help clean up search results, and although it’s not 100% clear (to me anyway) how much it will help your search results to use the tag, it certainly can’t hurt.
A good explanation is up at Search Engine Land:
The web is full of duplicate content. Search engines try to index and display the original or “canonical” version. Searchers only want to see one version in results. And site owners worry that if search engines find multiple versions of a page, their link credit will be diluted and they’ll lose ranking.
The really cool part of this news, for me anyway, is that immediately after the announcement a developer at Yoast had already introduced a WordPress plugin to help users incorporate the tag into their sites.
I’m updating my client sites today with this new plugin.